There is a lot that goes into summer preparation when it comes to deer hunting.
Don’t forget to do these 10 things while preparing for the upcoming season and you’ll be focused on nabbing that huge whitetail.
1. Check treestand straps
It is common to leave treestands sitting up all year, especially if you own land, or hunt on private land. Straps can have wear and tear, not to mention squirrels and other rodents can chew on them. Check them over before season and make sure they’re good to go. If not, take the time to replace them.
2. Tweak your stands
While you’re out checking straps, think about your stand location. I’m constantly tweaking my stands, even if that means moving it only twenty yards to a new tree. It can take years to find that perfect tree, but it starts now.
3. Check shooting lanes
If you have stands in trees that you have hunted in the past, don’t forget to check shooting lanes that you cut from the year prior. There might only be a couple twigs or branches to cut, but it could make the difference in getting a shot off come fall or not.
4. Find new access to established stands
Get creative with how you access certain stands. Think about that one really good spot you have, but you always seem to bust deer on the way in or out. Every year, I look at maps and see if there are better ways to access my stands.
Don’t forget about water, as accessing stands by boat is a highly effective tactic.
5. Re-evaluate your hunting areas
Do you wish you had better hunting spots? Or maybe just a couple more good spots? I like to re-evaluate my hunting spots, and if I have areas that aren’t productive, I may decide to not hunt those areas the next year and get new spots.
Don’t be afraid to do some door knocking and get permission on pieces of private land.
6. Become a better shot
Practice and hone your archery skills. There is always room for improvement. Practice at longer distances this summer in order to make your shots during the hunting season seem easier to you.
7. Check your hunting gear
Check over all of your hunting gear. Everything from your boots to broadheads. Make sure your bow is good to go, your backpack is organized, you name it. Before season arrives, be ready to hit the woods.
8. Study maps
I study maps year round. This summer, study maps more than you already do. There is a lot of value to studying aerial imaging. You may find a new good-looking spot, or better understand how deer use the terrain.
9. Habitat improvement
If you are lucky enough to own land, or are allowed to make improvements on land you have permission on, make habitat improvements. This could mean hinge cutting a bedding area, or planting a food plot.
The better habitat improvements you make, the better the hunting will be on your property.
10. Improve your trail camera strategy
Trail cameras are a great tool when used correctly. This summer, look at how you use trail cameras, and find a way to improve. If that means you know that your walking way too far into the timber to check a cam, move it to a field edge to reduce pressure.
If you know you are lazy and don’t take any precautions when it comes to scent, this year start making the conscious decision to be thoughtful of that. Don’t check your cameras as often, as this can also reduce the pressure you put on deer.
There are countless things you could easily forget about this summer while preparing for deer season. Whatever you do, don’t forget these 10 things, and your chances of success will only be better than they would have been.